Well – hasn’t the world gone mad. A week ago, it felt like life was fairly normal, and by now, I’m looking around a quiet office wondering what bits to take home!
We decided, as everyone else in the building opted to work from home, that we’d continue to come to the office and work from here every day. While we’re self-isolating during the Covid-19 pandemic, we can still work. Of course, everything we do is online so it’s easy for us to either relocate all of our equipment or lock the front door and carry on working.
What has struck me though, spending my life online, is two things. The complete panic and stress of the public, and the amazing banding together as a community. Unfortunately, both are prevelant in equal measure, which isn’t helping the stress levels.
It’s a very uncertain time for many small businesses, especially those who employ staff. With that comes this higher level of responsibility, and I can only hope that the Government puts some decent help packages together. But, I’m not here to chat about that. I’m here to chat about what I’ve decided to do during this time!
My average week and I usually work around 9-10 hours a day, Monday to Saturday. I’m usually at choir practise Monday, Tues and Wednesday nights which means I leave at around 6.30pm and back home around 10pm. On a Sunday afternoon I have another practise, and on a Thursday, I had been going to a “Sgwrs a Cwrw” night to help Welsh learners.
All of a sudden, I’ve gained about an extra 15 hours to my week. Which is great, and I’m keen to make good use of it.
- Yesterday I purchased 4 new books to read, 3 fiction and 1 business
- I started learning to knit at the end of 2019, and I started my own scarf in January. I aim to finish this!
- Our new website is still in its BETA stage, so I aim to finish that content and send it over to my lovely friend to proof read (while giving him some business)
- I’ve signed up to LOADS of webinars across the country, and the population seemingly turns digital. Many of the conferences and events I’d signed up to over the course of the next 6 months have been cancelled, but there’s no way I’m going to stop learning
- We went and got loads of DIY things, and paint for our bedroom. We moved into our house in June 2018, and because of work and life, we’ve not done loads of the jobs we wanted
- I am keeping a tabs on many of my friends online, sending messages a lot more than I would to make sure they are okay
- I’m also posting in local groups and on my own timelines to ask people to talk to me, or their friends, if they need to. It’s important we all work together to make sure we can get through this
How are you dealing with this new weird, temporary world we live in?
Award season is here, and we’ve been fortunate enough in the past years to have won a handful across Wales and the UK for Gwe Cambrian Web, and for myself as an entrepreneur.
I always get asked whether or not we’ve applied for awards directly, or been nominated. Well, to be honest, it’s always a bit of both! We have amazing customers and contacts who do nominate us for awards across Wales, but I do also make a point of looking at different awards, and applying myself if I feel that the award would be useful to us as a business. In my opinon, there’s little point going in for everything (if anything, it can look a little awkward if you did get shortlisted), and I do think a measured approach to choosing which award would work well for you is the best way forward.
I really do feel though, that as businesses and entrepreneurs, we don’t celebrate awards enough. The first step of actually applying is the biggest – is it because we feel embarrassed? Awkward? Not deserving? All of those personal feelings aside, awards are an excellent marketing tool and over the years have done wonders for our business across Wales and the UK.
Why? Because it adds a great amount of credibility, and if you do your marketing well, you could end up with a lot of increased exposure. I also really enjoy award ceremonies for the networking opportunities, and one of my most influential experiences as an entrepreneur so far was attending a live judging day for an award in 2018. Sounds horrible right? I came away so inspired from that day, that even though I didn’t win the national award, I felt like I’d come away with something much more valuable.
We really do need to celebrate ourselves more. If you run a business, or you’re an entreprenur, or making waves in the charity sector or community – why not get out there and see what awards you can apply for? You never know what will happen – I ended up in the top 4 Young Entrepreneurs of the Year in the UK in 2018, mingling with a whole range of business owners and inspirational people (one of them is now training to be an Astronaut, I mean, come on!).
If you don’t try, you’ll never know what you’re missing out on!
I probably run my social media training in very different way to others in my area. I really do much prefer the 1-2-1 or small group setting, than larger workshops… but why?
I remember years ago when we first started Gwe Cambrian Web in 2013, going to a lot of workshops and events about websites and social media. One of the ones I remember vividly had around 40 in the room, and I came away learning nothing. The range of experience was so varied, it was impossible to cover all aspects for all in the room.
So, when we decided about 2 years ago to branch into digital marketing more officially, I knew that I wanted to concentrate more on the smaller, intimate workshops/groups. I also believe you can’t provide truly useful training without a good understand of the business you’re helping – its values, ethos, goals.
That’s not to say large workshops are impossible, quite the opposite. In fact, it just doesn’t strike a chord with how I’d like to provide training for social media. That’s just a personal thing.
Before I host a training session, I take time to complete a detailed audit of the social media activity for my own records. This gives me a really good basis to understand what’s already going on and where training will help. I also spend time going through the website, making sure that the message the website provides is the same as the social media – especially in terms of goals, ethos, attitude, branding.
Hosting my sessions like this means that no matter how experienced you are, if you feel like you want to come to me for training, I’ve done plenty of research to help and discuss your social media with you.
Don’t forget, training isn’t just showing you how to navigate creating a post or going back to basics. It’s boosting your social media at the moment.